This an open love letter to my plants.

Jaime Milan
March 26, 2020
Getty / YinYang

The new coronavirus has kept me (and the rest of America) indoors a lot more than we're used to. Though it's a necessary practice to mitigate the spread of the virus, it's not exactly fun.

I'm not one for sitting still, and I'm an extreme extrovert. I don't enjoy hours-long Netflix binges—I prefer aimlessly walking the aisles at HomeGoods, having dinner with friends or taking my dog to the park. Needless to say, living in social isolation has (basically) been my worst nightmare.

I realize that I'm blessed to have my health, a job that allows me to work from home and an amazing support system that makes social distancing a lot easier, but nonetheless it's hard. Like most people right now, my emotions have run the gamut from anxiety to sadness to cautious optimism.

I've looked for healthy ways to combat these rollercoaster emotions. I tried meditation (fell asleep) and journaling (didn't enjoy it), but then I bought some plants (my local nursery has a pickup option) and got to gardening.

First, getting outside in the sunlight made me feel happier than I have in days. Excavating an old bush and digging a new hole for my gardenia plant worked my muscles and felt cathartic. And at the end of the day I felt tired and accomplished, which were both really good feelings.

Related: 9 Health Benefits of Gardening

And the benefits didn't stop once my gardening project was complete. Each day as I work from my kitchen table, I get to see my backyard filled with growth and wildlife. I think about the next projects I want to tackle—training my jasmine vine up a trellis, planting some vegetables—and it keeps me focused on improving my surroundings. Not to mention, my friends and family love seeing my new plants (and hearing my backyard birds) on FaceTime.

But mostly, gardening also serves as a good reminder about life: No matter what's going on in the world around them, plants choose to look towards the sunlight and grow.

Want to start your own gardening project? Whether you're looking for easy-care indoor plants or a full-on veggie garden, we've got you covered. Here are some ideas:

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